49ers get another offensive lineman, draft Nick Zakelj

Fordham offensive lineman Nick Zakelj (OL59) Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Fordham offensive lineman Nick Zakelj (OL59) Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

The San Francisco 49ers select another offensive lineman to provide more depth along the offensive line by drafting Nick Zakelj.

With the 187th overall pick of the NFL 2022 Draft, the San Francisco 49ers selected offensive tackle Nick Zakelj from Fordham.

Zakelj weighs in at 6-foot-6 and 316 pounds and ran a 5.13 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine. Although he primarily played left tackle during his time at Fordham for five years, he does have the traits to kick inside at guard with his short 32-inch arm length.

Zakelj earned a first-team All-Patriot League honors three times during his college tenure.

If you haven’t guessed it by now, Zakelj is another offensive lineman that played in a zone-based scheme, which is perfect for what the Niners will want to do. He provides more depth among the offensive line behind Aaron Banks, Jaylon Moore, and Daniel Brunskill, all of whom will compete with Zakelj for the O-line pecking order during training camp.

On top of that, Zakelj could potentially work his way towards being a primary swing tackle to support San Francisco’s two starters, Trent Williams and Mike McGlinchey. This might be important considering McGlinchey is recovering from a torn quad suffered halfway through the 2021 season, as well as the fact reserve tackle Tom Compton left in free agency this offseason.

Pass protection is the best trait in Zakelj’s blocking abilities, but he does struggle with his technique and footwork. That’s something that can be improved on in the NFL, however, and the 49ers will look for some quick development in this regard.

Another offensive lineman pick goes back to the topic of Pro Bowl center Alex Mack and if he truly is retiring, or if Daniel Brunskill will take over at the center position, which now seems to be a possibility with the Niners already having grabbed another rookie lineman in UTSA’s Spencer Burford earlier in the draft.

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